MBTI Type: ISTP
Walter is a highly competent and capable man, able to fix his boat, figure out how to lure away a Japanese patrol, and make do with the few things he has on the island. He is forever looking for an “easy way” to get what he wants, and can be rather scheming as a result. The story follows his progression from a purely selfish but rational man (prone to stealing, lying, manipulating, swearing, and slacking off) to one who is rather more selfless, as a product of his Fe development. Walter can be temperamental and hot-headed. He is prone to frequent inferior Fe outbursts (name-calling, insults, anger, and self-pity). At first, he’s immune to the shame-tactics Catherine and her students use on him, but then he warms to them all and comes to look after them, like “his own.” He is an opportunist. He putt-putts his boat into a navy base while they are preparing to flee and loads it up with supplies and gasoline. He agrees to be a watchman on one of the islands, with no intention of doing it. When he needs food, he fishes. He takes his longboat out, to rescue a man he assumes will take his position, only to bring home a bunch of stranded girls – and he adapts to it. He manages to escape enemy gunfire, save a girl’s life several times through his quick thinking and reflexes, and recklessly acts as a decoy to lure a Japanese boat beyond a reef into enemy gunfire. Walter’s intuition is not terrific; he’s prone to being taken advantage of, but he also gets a quick sense of Catherine and what damage she can cause as a “Goody two-shoes!” He has an idea about running a small business after the war, but shrugs off losing his boat “for a good cause.”
Enneagram: 8w7 sp/sx
Walter is the perfect example of a low health level 8. He is selfish and primarily concerned with filling his own needs (safety, security, food, shelter). He’s oblivious to the needs of others. Walter has a short temper, but is also able to keep calm and rational in intense, dangerous situations. He deals with other people, even kids, with force and aggression, choosing to splash a little girl in the face who bit his hand. But later, when she gives him booze, they enter a mutual, respectful relationship. He doesn’t take lip from anyone, even if it means telling them to “shut up.” And it annoys him a lot when Catherine takes over his “shack” and kicks him out, cleans up the place, and steals everything he owns – but, he also forms sort of a grudging respect for her. This deepens, when they bond over her “snake bite” and he shares something embarrassing with her (why he left being a teacher). Walter proposes after a slapping-match, because she has finally earned his respect by being just as tough as he is.